King of Tokyo is a table top board game that was released in 2011 designed by Richard Garfield. The game includes dice, cards, a score card that keeps track of your monster’s health and victory points, and card board characters that are the monster you play the game with. The game is made for 2-6 players ages 8 and up. King of Tokyo is a parody of all the monster movies where they all reek havoc on the city of Tokyo, as the main objective is to either get the most victory points by destroying the city or defeating all the other monsters trying to achieve the same goal.
A player can choose to be 1 of 9 monsters: Pandakai, Pumpkin Jack, Boogie Woogie, Alienoid, Cyber Bunny, Giga Zaur, Kraken, Meka Dragon, and The King. On each players score card, there are two numbers that can be adjusted using the wheel on the back of the card. On the top left is your victory points. You can get victory points by occupying Tokyo (2 victory points by staying in Tokyo) and by rolling the dice and getting three of one number, where you get 2 victory points (a 1,2, or 3 on the 6 sided dice, shown below.) If a player rolls four of a one number, they get 3 victory points, and 4 points for 5 of one number. The first player to reach 20 victory points wins.
The bottom right of your score card has your health points. Each player starts out the game with 10 health points and 1 victory point. The main mechanic of this game is the 6 sided dice. A player rolls 6 dice 3 times. With each turn, you can either roll a claw (signifying an attack, each player outside of the city who gets an attack is only attacking the monster occupying Tokyo. A monster that is occupying Tokyo rolls attacks for the players outside of the city), an energy (a green lighting bolt that gives you a little green cube that acts as your money. You save up these to buy specialities for your monster, whether they be an attack, a special ability, or a costume that may actually benefit no matter how silly it might seem (I won the game with a princess costume)), a heart that helps recover your health (monsters inside Tokyo can not heal and getting health does not matter unless you roll three in one roll, giving you a special character card that gives only your monster a unique ability, or a number 1-3. With each roll of the dice, you can decide to keep whatever dice you roll. If you are happy with every dice you receive on the first roll, then you do not have to roll again. If this is not the case, you can keep the dice you like on your first roll and roll the remaining dice two more times until you are happy with the outcome. Each player continues the dice rolling process until the player inside Tokyo decides to leave and the player attacking the monster inside the city takes the place of the monster retreating to the outskirts. The rules after this are very simple, just continue rolling the dice, buying speciality cards (each one has explanation of their ability and the benefit wether it victory points or immunity from attacks), and attacking your opponent until someone’s health hits zero or 20 victory points are gathered.
I played this game with 3 other players including myself. I was Pandakai (a giant panda) and the other two players were Pumpkin Jack (it looks like the headless horseman) and Giga Zaur (a knock off of Godzilla). Giga Zaur started off in the city and received critical hits when I rolled 5 attacks in one roll and the other player rolled 3 on his, so his life points were already down to 2. Pumpkin Jack occupied the city after that. Even though he gained many victory points by staying in the city, we finally got his health low enough to where he was forced to leave. The game got interesting when we all had enough energy points to buy special cards. Pumpkin Jack purchased wings, which allowed him to fly away and avoid certain attacks. The thing that made me win the game was a costume I purchased, a princess costume. Yes it may seem funny, but with the start of each turn I got 1 victory point. The two other games I played prior to this run through, the player with the highest health won, but in this case this costume made me victorious through getting 20 victory points. All though Pumpkin Jack was close to me with 17 victory points, I was not occupying Tokyo and my health was still high, so no matter the outcome of both players rolls I would win no matter what.King of Tokyo is a fast, simple, and fun game to play casually as it does not require a high attention span, but it is a contagiously fun game and a definite addition to the family Friday game night list.